Rain Lily Complete Guide To Grow And Care

Given their comparable size and form, if you’re not familiar with the rain lily (Zephyranthes candida), you might confuse this flower for a crocus. These warm-climate flowering bulbs, also called fairy lilies and zephyr flowers, thrive on most soil types and prefer full light. The name comes from the tendency of the blooms to open after rain.

With little to no care, this perennial flower bulb will spread widely over your flower garden. Rain lilies, like a lot of other lilies, can be poisonous to humans and animals.

Rain Lily Overview

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Common Name Rain lily, fairly liy, zephyr flower
Botanical Name Zephyranthes candida
Family Amaryllidaceae
Plant Type Bulb
Mature Size 6-12 in. tall, 6-12 in. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Loamy, sandy, clay, silt, moist but well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral, alkaline
Bloom Time Summer, fall
Flower Color White
Hardiness Zones 7–10 (USDA)
Native Area South America
Toxicity Toxic to pets, toxic to people

Rain Lily Care

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Once established, rain lilies require little maintenance. The following are essentials for rain lily growth:

  • Pick a location that receives full sun—ideally, at least six hours every day.


  • Plant the bulbs four to eight inches deep in the fall.


  • If you live in a marginal growth zone and want to ensure hardiness, plant deeper in sandy soil.


  • Rain lilies don’t require irrigation unless you’re experiencing a drought and would like to see them blossom.

Light Requirements

To plant rain lilies, pick a spot that receives full sun. Particularly in warmer areas, some midday shade or dappled shade is typically tolerated.

Soil & Potting

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Garden soil that is rich to ordinary is ideal for rain lilies. Try your luck with rain lilies in both sandy and swampy areas, since the bulbs show tolerance to a broad range of drainage scenarios.


Although rain lilies can withstand dry spells, you won’t be able to see their blooms until the summer rains cause them to open. You have two options: either wait out the drought or give the flowers a lot of water to encourage blossoming.

Temperature and Environment

Warm, humid climates are ideal for rain lilies. These plants are still enjoyable for gardeners in colder climates when grown in containers, where they make good border fillers.


Rain lilies don’t require fertilization, but if you put them in an area with a lot of clay, you should cover the soil with a layer of compost before the plants sprout in the spring.

Types of Rain Lilies

The most popular and straightforward to locate are unnamed white and pink rain lilies, but with a little research, you may locate these named varieties that will add a variety of colors to your flower garden.

‘Abacos Apricot’: This native of the Bahamas is sometimes called August grass, and it has coral blooms with a yellow core.

‘Bangkok Peach’: Experience the most beautiful pale peach-colored blooms from July till early September.

‘Beni Tama’: June marks the start of flowering, with pink blossoms and noticeable yellow stamens.

‘Big Dude’: Their broad white petals gleam in the night garden with a tint of purple frost.

‘Rose Perfection’: An uncommon kind featuring flawlessly pink petals with a white stripe running down the middle of each one.

‘Star of Bethlehem’: Vivid orange flowers with some yellow streaking

‘Fedora’: Large white flowers begin early, in May, and continue throughout the summer.

‘Lily Pies’: If you must choose just one, let it be this striking pink and white bicolor.

‘Midas Touch’: As the name implies, bright gold blooms on 10-inch stems.


Although the foliage of rain lilies is primarily evergreen, you can mow it in a meadow garden or occasionally cut it back without damaging the plants.

Propagating Rain Lilies

Although they are not thought to be invasive, rain lilies will spread and proliferate on their own once they are established.

Potting and Repotting

Potted rain lilies flourish well. An inch of dirt should be covering the tops of the bulbs. While rain lily bulbs are usually planted two to four inches apart in the ground, they can be planted closer together in pots because they like to be packed in close quarters.


Rain lilies can be left in the ground all year round in regions where they are resilient. Bulbs located north of USDA growth zone 7 need to be dug up in the fall and kept out of the cold throughout the winter.

How to Get Rain Lilies to Bloom?

When planted and nurtured correctly, rain lily rarely require assistance to flower. Rain frequently inspires them to bloom.

Bloom Months

Throughout the summer and into the fall, rain lilies bloom.

How Long Do Rain Lilies Bloom?

The lifespan of a single rain lily bloom is a few days. Throughout the season, the bulb may rebloom, particularly following rain. If the bulbs are healthy, they will keep blooming year after year and will also grow outward, producing additional bulbs that will bloom as well.

What Do Rain Lilies Look and Smell Like?

Traditional rain lilies are funnel-shaped, white, and resemble crocuses. Their scent is subtle and pleasant to the point of being offensive. Rain lilies come in a variety of types that can be planted and provide hues other than white, such pink and yellow.

How to Encourage More Blooms?

A few things could prevent rain lilies from blossoming. It’s possible that the bulbs were planted in a place with insufficient sunshine, too close together, or too shallow. Consider replanting them in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight, at the appropriate depth and distance.

Additionally, there are two methods that can stop blooming: fertilizing too much and pruning the leaves the year after it flowers. Avoid removing rain lily leaves in the winter and overfertilizing the soil.

Finally, even though rain lily bulbs can withstand drought, you might need to water them during especially dry spells to encourage more blooming.

Caring for Rain Lilies After They Bloom

After blossoms are done, trim them back to encourage new flowering on the bulb. You can prune the plant at the conclusion of the growing season, but don’t wait until the stems turn brown and hollow. Before then, there’s no need to clip it back.

Deadheading Rain Lily

To encourage the bulb to reflower, deadhead blooms by pinching or clipping them off once they have finished blooming.

Also Read: Canna Lily Complete Guide To Grow And Care

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